Santander in right field for final game of Cardinals series, regular season sweepless streak on the line

The Orioles completed their suspended game today with a 3-1 loss to the Cardinals, setting up this afternoon’s series finale before the charter flight to Chicago.

A win is needed to prevent the sweepless streak in the regular season from ending at 106 series.

Nolan Gorman hit a two-run homer off Keegan Akin in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Akin inherited a runner from Jacob Webb.

Ryan Mountcastle singled today to interrupt a 1-for-26 slump. He’s on the bench for the second game.

Left-hander Nick Vespi was added as the 27th man. The Cardinals added right-hander Chris Roycroft.

Vespi has a 3.22 ERA and 1.433 WHIP in 11 games with Triple-A Norfolk. He’s walked 13 batters and struck out 26 in 22 1/3 innings, and he’s surrendered only two home runs.

Anthony Santander is in right field for the first time since May 15. Colton Cowser is starting in center field and Austin Hays is in left.

Ramón Urías gets the start at third base, with Jordan Westburg moving to second. James McCann is catching.

Ryan O’Hearn is the first baseman.

Left-hander John Means is 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA and 0.849 WHIP in three starts. He hasn’t walked a batter in 17 2/3 innings.

Means made his only career start against the Cardinals on Sept. 12, 2023, in his first game after returning from Tommy John surgery, and allowed three runs in five innings. He’s never pitched in St. Louis.

Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt hit home runs off Means.

Orioles pitchers were allowing a .250 on-base percentage to the first batter of an inning this season before the suspended game, per STATS, the second-lowest in the majors.

The Orioles are facing former teammate Kyle Gibson, who signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the Cardinals over the winter. He has a 4.09 ERA and 1.273 WHIP in nine starts.

Gibson has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his starts.

In 12 career starts against the Orioles, Gibson has registered a 3.82 ERA and 1.302 WHIP over 70 2/3 innings. Ryan O’Hearn is 6-for-9 with two doubles.

For the Orioles

Gunnar Henderson SS
Adley Rutschman DH
Ryan O’Hearn 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Jordan Westburg 2B
Colton Cowser CF
Austin Hays LF
Ramón Urías 3B
James McCann C

John Means LHP

Here are the starters for the series in Chicago:

Thursday: RHP Grayson Rodriguez vs. RHP Mike Clevinger
Friday: RHP Corbin Burnes vs. RHP Chris Flexen
Saturday: RHP Dean Kremer vs. RHP Erick Fedde
Sunday: Kyle Bradish vs. LHP Garrett Crochet

For the Cardinals

Masyn Winn SS
Lars Nootbaar RF
Paul Goldschmidt DH
Nolan Arenado 3B
Alec Burleson 1B
Dylan Carlson LF
Brendan Donovan 2B
Pedro Pagés C
Michael Siani CF

Kyle Gibson RHP

* Trey McGough, who pitched at Mount St. Mary's, is moving up from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles chose McGough in Triple-A phase of 2022 Rule 5 draft. Had 1.83 ERA and 0.814 WHIP in 12 games with Bowie.

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